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United States in Olympic Lockout

August 31, 2011 1 comment

It seems money is standing between the United States and hosting the Olympic Games

Every four years the world comes together despite any conflict or disagreements to participate in the Olympic Games. The Summer Games brings competitive sports such as Track & Field, Basketball, Swimming and Diving to the worlds eyes. We all remember Michael Phelps eight gold medals of the 2008 Beijing games or the 2004 Athens games where the United States lost in the 400m Relay by a step to Great Britain. What many don’t remember is the last time the United States hosted the Summer Olympic Games. Unfortunately, this will continue as the United States Olympic Committee has announced they will not be bidding for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky released a statement stating “Our focus is on other things,” including preparations for next year’s summer games in London and ongoing negotiations for a new revenue-sharing arrangement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “That precluded us from being focused on any sort of bidding process”

USOC Spokesman Patrick Sandusky

Apparently the bidding was cancelled due to a revenue split dispute between the USOC and the IOC. Currently the United States sponsors generate the most revenue and naturally the USOC receives the biggest portion of this revenue at nearly 13 percent of the Television money and 20 percent of the sponsorship money. The current revenue spilt has resulted in a troubled relationship with the IOC. It is because of this relationship that the U.S. has failed in two previous bids for the Olympic Games including the most recent Chicago bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games that will be hosted in Rio. Sandusky stated “Until that deal is done we would not be in a position to potentially bid.” U.S. cities such as Las Vegas, Tulsa, Minneapolis, Dallas, New York, and Chicago were interested in potentially hosting the 2020 Summer Games.

The United States has not hosted the Summer Games since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, GA in 1996

With the U.S. not bidding for the 2020 games the U.S. will go at least 28 years until they host a Summer games.  I remember when I was seven years old driving through Atlanta and seeing all the glory that is the Olympic Games. An experience I believe to many American citizens are being stripped of because a money dispute. Sound familiar? Seems as if we have just ended the NFL Lockout, just started the NBA Lockout, now we have another Lockout on our hands. Lockout seems to be the trend of the year in the sports world. Just to give you a idea of how long its been since the Summer Games was hosted on American Soil lets see what has changed since 1996:

  • Bill Clinton was President (Good Times)
  • U.S. average gas price per gallon was $1.23 ( less than a 1/3 of what it is today)
  • “Macarena” was on the top of the Billboard 100 (Ha!)
  • E.R. on NBC was the most popular T.V. Show
  • Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowl XXX
  • Chicago beat Seattle in the NBA Finals (Yeah, Seattle)
I believe the list above speaks for itself. If we’ve learned anything from the NFL Lockout is that when it comes to money, two parties will not give up easy. Unlike the NFL Labor Dispute the demands are not clearly cut out. Whatever it takes I hope the USOC and the IOC reach their deal while I’m still young. If its money the USOC is concerned about, they will make plenty of it by entering a bid and potentially hosting the games.. Their are several short term and long term benefits to hosting the Olympic Games such as the creation of tens of thousands of jobs, increase tourism revenue, new facilities that will bring in revenue to the host city, and also the groups and events the Olympics will bring during and after the Games.Moral of the story, its been to long. We need to bring the games back to the United States!
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